While your dentures can’t get cavities, you still need to clean them every day. Dentures can harbor harmful bacteria that can infect your gums, cause bad breath and even spread infection to other areas of the body. Luckily, taking care of your dentures is simple and requires only a few minutes each day. Here’s how to care for your dentures.
Clean Your Dentures
You should clean your dentures at least once a day, although twice a day is better. You don’t even need any special equipment or products—a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush, mild soap, and a soft towel will do. If you like, you can purchase a denture cleaning solution, but this is not necessary. What is essential is that you don’t use a toothbrush with firm bristles, as this can create micro-abrasions on the surface of your dentures where bacteria can collect. For this same reason, we don’t recommend using toothpaste to clean your dentures either.
Place the soft towel on the bathroom countertop. Rinse your dentures in warm water, then put a dab of soap or denture cleaner on your brush. Brush your dentures to remove any food particles and plaque, holding them over the towel the whole time to ensure that they’ll be protected if you drop them. Take the time to brush thoroughly, reaching all of the surfaces of your denture and removing any denture adhesive. Rinse again with warm water.
If you’re cleaning your dentures in the morning, you can put them in at this point. If it’s nighttime, you’ll need to either place your dentures in a glass of lukewarm water or a denture-soaking solution overnight while you sleep. This is important, because if your dentures dry out, they can become brittle and lose their shape. Even if you don’t use a denture-soaking solution on a nightly basis, you should use it at least once a week to kill bacteria and control odor.
Note that these cleaning tips work for full dentures, partial dentures, traditional dentures, and snap-on dentures. If you have implant-supported dentures that are permanently attached to your dental implants, your denture care instructions will be different.
Other Tips on Caring for Your Dentures
Dentures can last up to a decade with good care. Here are some additional tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your dentures.
- After you eat or drink something other than water, rinse your dentures with warm water.
- Don’t use toothpaste or teeth whitening products to clean your dentures.
- Never sleep in dentures; instead, soak them in warm water or a denture solution overnight.
- Don’t try to fix broken dentures yourself.
- If your dentures don’t seem to be fitting right, you may need to have them relined. Using extra adhesive won’t help.
- When you’re cleaning your dentures at the end of the day, be sure to remove all of the adhesive.